PEELING AND REVEALING - Chap. 5 - Unlocking Our Superpowers
Peeling and Revealing
As I continued the process of asking “Juicy Questions,” I began to peel back the layers of myself like an onion. After parting ways with my girlfriend (who I’d been with for almost 2 years in May of 2014), I dedicated myself to inner reflection.
Society had programmed me in a zillion ways of how to dress, how to talk, how to show up in the world, and I decided to truly ask myself, “How do I actually want to be?”
As the months passed, and I did my various Healing Practices everyday (explained in a later chapter), new revelations and transformations unfolded. When I became really honest with myself, I discovered that I was feeling sexually attracted to both males and females. For most of my teenage years, I’d been so conditioned to be homophobic that I’d completely rejected any possibility of being Bisexual. It was very liberating to realize this, though it took immense courage and a lot of time to slowly share the news with my friends and family.
Around December of 2014, I took a big leap of faith and told one of my best friends that I felt an attraction to him. I wasn’t actively trying to pursue a relationship with him, but I wanted to be honest about how I was feeling.
Sharing this “Radical Honesty” was like lifting a huge boulder off my back. I was slowly releasing all of the self-judgment I’d accrued from growing up in the largely homophobic subculture of my high school.
As I progressed on my journey of self-discovery, I went into a phase of hibernation in February of 2015. Around this time, I began to question my Gender Identity. Some days, as I looked in the mirror, I didn’t know who I was. I sensed that there was a part of me that wanted to be female, rather than male. As I tapped into this part of myself, I wanted to dance and shake my hips like Shakira. One day while out exercising, I gave myself full permission to dance like a woman. It felt like the shackles around my hips and legs that I’d worn for most of my life were starting to loosen. It felt very uncomfortable, but also very liberating! I decided to explore deeper into my femininity. As I went down the rabbit hole, I discovered the concept called a “Two Spirit,” which many Native American cultures have.
“Two Spirit” beings were revered in many Indigenous Cultures for their ability to move fluidly between a masculine or feminine identity. Some of the time, these people would dress like a woman and perform the tasks of the tribe with other females. At other times, they would dress like a man and do all the same activities with other males. This Gender Fluidity was seen as a gift, and many “Two Spirit” beings were powerful healers or Medicine Keepers. This concept deeply resonated with me, and I began to embrace my Gender Fluidity on a deeper level, sharing my revelations with some of my close friends.
It has honestly been one of the most scary and challenging processes of my life to “come out of the closet” about all of this. Mostly I feel it on a physical level, because, as this book explains in the “Healing Process” chapter, whatever we believe in our Subconscious Mind manifests in our physical body. I had been deeply conditioned to think that half of my identity was unacceptable and ugly, so I essentially tied my body up in knots. I have been slowly unraveling all of the repressed energy that I sequestered and twisted up by living in such a self-judging, transphobic and homophobic way.
I am grateful to say that the Healing Tools outlined in this book have supported me to make tremendous progress on releasing pain and trauma that was stored in my muscles and cells. I feel so much relief and ease in my body compared to 2 years ago when I first began to discover all of this. As this journey of Peeling and Revealing has unfolded, it’s been a fun exploration to find out what name I want to call myself. Here is what I posted on Facebook in early April of 2016 :
I changed my name to Phil Osophical back in 2010 as a way to create a new identity for myself. I was a freshman at Penn State, and I was beginning to share Spoken Word Flowetry at open mics and events. I chose this name because I loved Philosophy, and also because I thought the name was clever enough to make me "famous."
For about 5 years, I happily wore the title of Phil Osophical, and many people still only refer to me as Phil. I created 3 Flowetry albums, hundreds of videos, and toured the U.S. twice using this moniker. Last year, in 2015, I felt a shift, as if I was shedding the layer of skin / self known as "Phil Osophical."
In 2014, one of my friends would call me "Philo" and I realized that I preferred that name over "Phil." As I've mentioned in other posts, I am choosing to be Gender Fluid, and the name Philo allows for more fluidity. The word Philo comes from the Greek Language, and can mean "love of", "love", or "friend". The name “Philo Flows” feels like an affirmative mantra, and it resonates with the core of my being.
With that said, the very feminine side of myself that I've been exploring wants to be honored as well. As I've meditated on this, the name Lila Rose has come to the surface. As I "try on" this name, it feels very liberating, and allows me permission to wear skirts, makeup, and shake my hips when I want to. A part of me finds this process hilarious, and another part of me feels that this is my deepest truth.
Therefore, I am both Philo Flows and Lila Rose. I am also okay with people calling me Kevin (my birth name), if that feels right to you, though as I move forward in this mysterious game of life, Philo and/or Lila are the main characters I choose to be.
Overall, this journey of Peeling and Revealing has been full of it’s ups and downs, smiles and frowns. As I stand here today in 2016, I am proud of myself for making it through so many challenges, obstacles, trials and tribulations. Today, and from now on, I give myself full permission to embody my femininity and my masculinity, in whatever way I choose! I also give myself full permission to embody and honor my inner child, and all other aspects of myself.
I AM PROUD TO BE KEVIN MAY :)
I AM PROUD TO BE LILA ROSE :)
I AM PROUD TO BE PHILO FLOWS :)
Also, as I have been integrating of these dimensions of myself, different aspects come through and express at different times. Therefore, various parts of this book may have more of a Philo vibe, and other parts may carry more of Lila or Kevin’s energy. ( For example, I feel my Lila-self come through very strong when I am hand-drawing the graphics. ) Whether Kevin, Lila, Philo, or “Electric Bill,” these are simply different facets of the vibrating-energy-being that is “Me” :) Shazaam!
3 Questions on Peeling and Revealing :
1. What aspects of Gender Identity and Gender Fluidity interest you most?
2. Have you explored the potential of being Bisexual or Gender Fluid?
3. How would your life be different if you changed your Gender Identity?
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